Loc: Waterloo, NY
On closing arguments...
GET OUT OF HERE by Glyphosate Girl
MAY 12 2019 As you all know by now, I really like to keep my blog light, because the topic is so grave that it’s something of a coping mechanism. But today, I feel I am in a surreal state of mind. Today’s news headlined an article about whales dying and shoring on the California coast at unprecedented rates. Let me take a toll: bees, butterflies, dolphins, whales …. humans are clearly on the same path to extinction.
Those few of us who see the apocalyptic threat to our world are searching for ways to help the public understand the situation at hand. Please, readers, TALK ABOUT IT. I shared the details of the wide harm that Roundup has exacted upon the planet with some random girls in their early twenties this weekend in a sauna in Arizona. They suffer from Ulcerative Colitis and have lost many childhood friends from cancer. They also grew up in the agriculture-heavy Central Valley of California. They didn’t know that Roundup might be a part of it, and were captivated listening to the truth.
Because AgChem and BigPharma will continue to do their best to silence these anti-chemical sentiments, it means we must work overtime on a word-of-mouth basis to spread the word. Even if it makes us look like obsessed, hippy, paranoid weirdos. I don’t mean hanging out on social media and fighting with the other side. I mean talk to the anxious man hunched over in the Pepto Bismol section of Target. Share the word with your fellow dog ladies at the dog park. If nothing else, it will be exposure therapy for those with even slight social anxiety.
In the last year, I have become well aware of the stereotypes of the “activist.” Nevertheless, very shortly, people will understand what we were so concerned about, because the REAL, non-ghostwritten, unmanipulated science tells us so.
On to the trial.
TRIAL I’ve learned from experience that Closing Statements seat demand is no joke. Today is even more competitive because the courtroom is so terribly tiny. State court vs federal court budgets, I guess. I arrive at 7am and note that the Monsanto characters are in the front of the line, and I am around 15 deep. Elaine and Christopher Stevick, the Plaintiffs in the upcoming Federal trail, are waiting as well. I happily join them. Sunshiney AOJ appears and joins in line – we’ve divided the day up. I will be covering Plaintiff and AOJ will be covering Defendant.
The crowd is light on the activist front. After watching the Bayer Annual Shareholder Meeting which drew a large crowd of protesters, I wonder how we could be a stone’s throw from UC Berkeley and not have some student protesters at the very least. I suppose the profile of the average Berkeley student has changed over the years, but protesting and Berkeley were for a long time synonymous.
The door to the courthouse finally opens and we pass through security and up to the courtroom. Strangely, some people appear to have jumped in front of the line, which is frustrating given my 5am morning alarm to be sure I got my place. Our odd Monsanto glarer, who has spent most of his time in both the Hardeman and Pilliod trial conspicuously staring at our side of the gallery with remarkably wide eyes (it must be fascinating to stare at our profiles for hours), loudly pipes up to the clerk that no one has the right to cut. The line-shamed people begin to wander towards the back of the line.
I take a closer look and realize that it is Director Oliver Stone and entourage. Brent Wisner’s family closely follows, and I meet Wisner’s mom Helen. She is very friendly and tells me of the adventure that it was raising Brent. It will not shock anyone to hear he was something of a troublemaker in school. Of course, I am sure that he was substantially smarter and more outspoken than everyone else. I ask if his remarkable memory for small details is from her, and she shares that she remembers line-for-line computer code that she wrote 30 years ago. I often don’t even remember where I parked my car an hour earlier.
Monsanto has deliberately disregarded consumer safety for 45 years.
Roundup was “literally born in fraud” when it was approved following the fraudulent carcinogen studies performed by the laboratory IBT.
The mouse study performed in 1985 initially found that Roundup was a carcinogen, but was later manipulated to to show a different result. Wisner says that this is: “The definition of manipulating science!”
Wisner walks through all of the prime examples and email proof of Monsanto’s ghostwriting, and how future independent research unknowingly cites and considers the ghostwritten literature in their own analyses.
Monsanto-paid labs manipulated cadaver skin into a leather-like material to create false lab findings of low dermal absorption. Monsanto’s Roundup Freedom to Operate team works to reduce or eliminate restrictions to the sale of their product.
Remember how Monsanto likes to play “Whack-a-mole” and bash down any research that criticizes Roundup or GMOs? Wisner reminds the jury of it in a (hilarious to those of us who know Wisner) reenactment of playing Whack-a-mole. He calls out “WHACK WHACK” and moves his arms wildly as if he is indeed playing the classic carnival game. Yes, I too regret that video is not allowed in the courtroom.
In Monsanto’s internal documents, they mention avoiding future litigation regarding the carcinogenicity of Roundup. Before finishing his infinitely long list of examples of Monsanto crookedness, Wisner passionately argues:
Of all the things that they’re worried about, they’re worried about this happening right now, where a young lawyer, who’s not afraid of them, gets to look at all the documents and talk to 12 or 14 jurors, show them the documents and say, “Good grief.” This is their nightmare.
But we live — I mean, we live every day seeing things around us that are wrong. Okay? Things that we — that’s just not right, that shouldn’t happen. And we’re all powerless to do anything about it. We are. We can’t do anything. I spend my life going, “I wish I could do something about it. I wish I could help this person. I wish I could help that person,” but I can’t. But right now, that’s not the case because you are seeing something that’s wrong, and you are able to actually do something about it. It’s pretty cool.
On the topic of punitive damages, Wisner continues: “They can afford it, and they need to pay. Because that’s the kind of number that sends a message to every single boardroom, every single stockholder, every single person in Monsanto that can make a decision about the future. That is a number that changes things.”